Cristiano Ronaldo expected to play a part for Portugal in Ireland friendly

admin admin | 06-11 08:15

Cristiano Ronaldo will get a chance to prove his readiness for the Euro 2024 finals as Portugal boss Roberto Martinez prepares to unleash him on John O'Shea's Ireland side.

The 39-year-old former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus star did not figure in the warm-up matches against Finland and Croatia, but is expected to play some part along with 41-year-old Pepe and Ruben Neves against Ireland in Tuesday night's friendly in Aveiro.

Martinez told a press conference: "The plan is to have minutes. We need to have training, so I don’t know if they will start or finish the game, but Pepe, Ruben and Ronaldo will have minutes.

"Players need to play minutes, have connections, enjoy the game, work on collective concepts. Ireland has a competitive capacity that is good for us because the tactical structure is similar to that of Georgia, for example."

Portugal launch their finals campaign against the Czech Republic in Leipzig on 18 June and Martinez has no qualms about the ability of Ronaldo or Pepe to make an impact on the tournament despite their advanced years.

He said: "The players are ready for tomorrow and it’s the next step. Pepe has a lot of experience, Cristiano too.

"They are players who had very good periods in the national team and the next step is the next game against Ireland.

"I have no doubt that they are very important players when they are on the pitch and also when they are not on the pitch because of the meaning they have.

"Let’s hope they can do a good job tomorrow and keep moving forward."

That said, Martinez will monitor Ronaldo’s output to ensure he gets the best out of him when it matters most.

He added: "Cristiano had 51 games – he had no problem playing them all – but the data at club level is not the same as national team level.

"He showed that he can play every four days, but we evaluate that in real time during the tournament."

Ireland have steadied the ship in the three games they have played under interim boss O’Shea, beating Hungary 2-1 last week after drawing with Belgium and losing narrowly to Switzerland in March.

Martinez knows from his time in charge of the Belgians how dogged the Irish can be – the sides drew 2-2 in a 2022 friendly under his charge – and that, he believes, will be good preparation for what lies ahead.

He said: "Ireland is a new team, the coach arrived with new ideas, the players are executing his ideas clearly.

"Defensively, they are a very well-organised team, but they also have the ability to attack quickly and work very well on dead balls. For us, it is an aspect to be ready for."

Disclaimer: The copyright of this article belongs to the original author. Reposting this article is solely for the purpose of information dissemination and does not constitute any investment advice. If there is any infringement, please contact us immediately. We will make corrections or deletions as necessary. Thank you.


ALSO READ

New Zealand's recent local government drama

Invercargill Mayor Nobby Clark refused to resign at an extraordinary council meeting today following...

Scarce hospital jobs for grad nurses 'great problem to have' - health boss

Te Whatu Ora boss Fepulea'i Margie Apa says not having enough places in hospitals for graduate nurse...

Ivan Cleary returns to Akl to help fundraise for local league club

Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has used a bye-week in the NRL calendar to cross the ditch and he...

Older athletes ignoring potentially fatal heart warning signs - survey

Our older athletes are dicing with death, with a new study revealing many are so committed to their ...

Person seriously injured after tractor crash in Te Awamutu

One person has been seriously injured following a two-vehicle crash involving a tractor on a state h...

Tailteann Cup semi-finals: All You Need to Know

All told, this 11th-hour call to flip the schedule also adds to the view that the current championsh...